Roast Dry Pasta Before Cooking It To Give It Some Extra Flavor

I’ll admit I was skeptical of this idea we found in Ideas in Food by Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa. Roasting concentrates flavor— roasted vegetables, I can get behind. Roasted fruit and citrus, too. But pasta is pretty perfect in my mind, so why roast it dry to enhance flavor before cooking and saucing it?

Source: Roast Pasta Before Cooking It. Really!

I guess this new generation has never heard of Rice-a-Roni, where you brown the pasta in a pan before adding the rice, spices and boiling water.

You Don’t Need to Boil Your Pasta, Just the Water

Most instructions for cooking dried pasta are invariably the same: Drop the noodles into a pot of boiling water, bring it back to a boil, and keep it bubbling vigorously until the pasta is done. We already broke with this conventional wisdom by showing that you can cook pasta in a lot less water than is typically called for, as long as you don’t mind stirring it frequently.

Now we’ve learned that you don’t need to hold your pasta water at a rolling boil either. In fact, you don’t even need to keep the pot on the heat. The pasta will cook just fine if you take the pot off the burner as soon as you add the pasta, cover it immediately, stir once or twice during the first minute, cover again, and leave it to sit for the recommended cooking time. We tested this method with spaghetti, shells, farfalle, and ziti, using the full 4 quarts of water recommended per pound, and we found that the texture was identical to that of pasta we boiled the conventional way.

Source: What Is Low-Temp Pasta?

Don’t forget that you can bring that water to a boil faster if you microwave half of it first.  And know why to use cold water, rather than hot.

Make Easy, Delicious Cold Noodles with This Simple Soy Vinaigrette

Here’s to easy hangover food 😉 😀

  • Chard is really high in vitamin K – I don’t recommend taking up the habit if you don’t regularly eat it already.
  • The video measures the liquid in grams – the recipe here has common measurements.
  • The chef strains out the ginger and garlic… This appears to be a bit of ad libbing. While the original directions state to “strain”, it does not specifically call out garlic and/or ginger.

Soak Pasta Instead of Boiling It for Easier Baked Pasta Dishes

Here’s something I’ve always wondered: when baking pasta, as in, say, lasagna or baked ziti, why do you always cook the pasta first? Aren’t you inviting trouble by cooking it once, then proceeding to put it in a casserole and cooking it again? Well, there’s the obvious first part of the answer to this question: pasta needs to absorb water as it cooks—a lot of water, around 80 percent of its own weight when perfectly al dente. So, add raw pasta directly to a baked pasta dish, and it will soften all right—it’ll also suck up all of the moisture from the sauce, leaving it dry or broken.

Source: The Food Lab: For Easier Baked Ziti, Soak, Don’t Boil Your Pasta

I thought the pasta drew moisture from the sauce.  It does… resulting in dry sauce. I’ve always wondered about those pastas marketed as not needing to be boiled first—how are they different from regular pasta or is this just some marketing ploy? Anyway, traditionally recipes recommend boiling the pasta first.